2 Thermopolis Teachers Are Finalists for Presidential Award

Two Thermopolis Teachers Are Finalists for Presidential Math & Science Award

Written by on March 21, 2023

Two teachers in Hot Springs County School District No. 1 are among a handful of Wyoming teachers that could receive the highest recognition for math and science teachers in the United States.

Thermopolis teachers Emmy Hergert and London Jenks have been selected as the 2023 state finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (P.A.E.M.S.T.) is the highest recognition K-12 mathematics, science, or computer science teachers can receive in the United States. Nominations and awards are facilitated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (O.S.T.P.) and the National Science Foundation.

Each year, up to six finalists in each state are chosen for the award through a rigorous peer review process. The applications are forwarded to the National Science Foundation, where the final selection for the national Presidential Awardee is made.

Enacted by Congress in 1983, the program authorizes the President to award 108 math and science teachers each year in recognition of their contribution to excellent teaching and learning.


Hergert teaches seventh-grade math at Thermopolis Middle School, and Jenks teaches physics, environmental science, earth systems & space science at Hot Springs County High School.

Emmy Herger is a Torrington native with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree focusing on mathematics from the University of Wyoming. She has been teaching in Hot Springs County since 2012.

London Jenks has already been recognized as a Knowles Science Teaching Fellow and a Google Certified Teacher.

Rick Simineo teaches math at East High School in Cheyenne. Charity Penn – previously a 2021 finalist in the science cohort – teaches science at Douglas Middle School.

Award recipients receive the following:

  • A certificate signed by the President of the United States.
  • A paid trip to Washington, D.C., to attend recognition events and professional development opportunities.
  • A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
  • An opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation.

Park County School District No. 6 math teacher Katie McCue received the P.A.E.M.S.T. in 2022, along with Craig Williams of Cheyenne.

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